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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Sep 27;113(39):10944-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1524487113. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

TLR9-mediated inflammation drives a Ccr2-independent peripheral monocytosis through enhanced extramedullary monocytopoiesis.

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Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 19104


Monocytes are innate immune cells that interact with their environment through the expression of pattern recognition receptors, including Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Both monocytes and TLRs are implicated in driving persistent inflammation in autoimmune diseases. However, cell-intrinsic mechanisms to control inflammation, including TLR tolerance, are thought to limit inflammatory responses in the face of repeated TLR activation, leaving it unclear how chronic TLR-mediated inflammation is maintained in vivo. Herein, we used a well-characterized model of systemic inflammation to determine the mechanisms allowing sustained TLR9 responses to develop in vivo. Monocytes were identified as the main TLR9-responsive cell and accumulated in peripherally inflamed tissues during TLR9-driven inflammation. Intriguingly, canonical mechanisms controlling monocyte production and localization were altered during the systemic inflammatory response, as accumulation of monocytes in the liver and spleen developed in the absence of dramatic increases in bone marrow monocyte progenitors and was independent of chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (Ccr2). Instead, TLR9-driven inflammation induced a Ccr2-independent expansion of functionally enhanced extramedullary myeloid progenitors that correlated with the peripheral accumulation of monocytes in both wild-type and Ccr2(-/-) mice. Our data implicate inflammation-induced extramedullary monocytopoiesis as a peripheral source of newly produced TLR9 responsive monocytes capable of sustaining chronic TLR9 responses in vivo. These findings help to explain how chronic TLR-mediated inflammation may be perpetuated in autoimmune diseases and increase our understanding of how monocytes are produced and positioned during systemic inflammatory responses.


Toll-like receptor; monocyte; monocytopoiesis

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